YouTubers have become a new source of pop culture in the last few years. Bands and artists have been able to create a following that can only be described as grassroots pop culture. What this means is that the bands and artists on YouTube upload their videos after shooting them themselves, editing them themselves, and uploading them themselves.
On Feb. 8, I went to a concert in Philadelphia, which was a part of the Freaks and Geeks Tour headlined by Hollywood Ending with opening acts This is All Now and King the Kid. The three bands started on YouTube, uploading their videos and gaining a following all on their own. No producers, no record labels, nothing. They worked for everything they got. I was mainly there to photograph King the Kid but I happened to take pictures of the other bands as well.
All three of these bands had their own sound, ranging from punk rock to pop rock. The bands, on many occasions expressed pure gratitude for the support from their fans, whom without, they wouldn’t have had any success. All in all, I really enjoyed the concert, and taking photos of the three bands, selfishly plugging my photography studio. One thing stood out to me: even though these bands all have several thousand followers on twitter, Facebook, and subscribers on YouTube, they still acknowledge the acts of their fans. One of their fans, ASL Anissa, as she is known on YouTube, and a Philly native, has covered a bunch of their songs. The thing is, she covered their songs in a language that you don’t normally hear… or, in this case, see. She has taken to signing their songs into American Sign Language, thus the name ASL Anissa. Most bands, at least those I have come across, tend to be more involved with themselves than with their fans.
With King the Kid, they found Anissa on twitter and invited her to sign one of their songs on stage. I was able to talk to the band after the concert via email and was asked them about it. David Michael Frank, the lead singer said, “Well, it was really last minute. It was a fan that we knew has done many ASL covers of our music. We saw some tweets and coordinated in messages. We never rehearsed it. I just told her to be by my side of the stage by the end of the second song. It just kinda happened!”
In my opinion, when a band takes the time to appreciate their fans and the talents of their fans, they really deserve the success they have worked for.
Overall, the concert was really enjoyable, and I thought all of the bands were fun to watch. They are now performing in Houston, making their way to Denver, where King the Kid will leave the tour and head to Australia for the rest of their tour.